Posted by: jo | December 6, 2009

Pratham Books

Honestly, till about a month ago, I didn’t know much about this publisher; just that they were one of the publishers of kids’ books. Recently my co-sister, munmun, introduced me to a blog Saffron Tree (which has reviews of kids’ books). It was here that I came to know about some books by Pratham Books and also reached the Pratham Books Blog.

From their blog, I came to know that they are a social entrepreneurship project who help rural children with books and also run a library for them. Pratham is a non-profit trust publishing books in in different Indian languages like English, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali etc. at a price of Rs15-Rs25. But don’t be fooled by the price; the books are on high quality paper and print, with bright and colorful illustrations. Before going to the fair, I had selected some books from their catalogue. Unfortunately I found only 16 of them, but never mind, I shall order the remaining books online. Here I would like to review some of the books I bought for Aru and Ashmit.

This book is super hit in my home. All of us are fond of Sringeri Srinivas who cuts his hair annually. So on one annual haircut day he finds no one who can cut his hair and he gets very upset. But in the end he does get rid of all his hair in a hilarious way. How? buy the book and find it out. It is a must read for kids for its hilarious illustrations. Recommended age 3-6 (actually 2-adults).

Symbiosis means animals helping each other. In this book Zippy the zebra is bugged with fleas allover his body and he tries different ways to get rid of it but he fails. Then two birds Pick and Preak help him. Ashmit enjoys this book and he wants me to read it again and again while he enacts Zippy getting rid of his fleas by iching, scratching, wiggling, rolling etc. It is a fun book for young kids.

Ek Sudama Ek banmali is a beautiful story of Lord Krishan and Sudamas’ friendship, in a form of poem. I bought this book in Hindi for Aru. She is fond of poems and here the Hindi is so simple that she loved it. The highlight of this book is the amazing bright and colourful illustration. One would love to read the poem again and again for it meters are so sweet to the ears.

Pehelwaanji is a bit of a bully. No one can defeat him by physical power but Gappu a young child defeats him in a hilarious wrestling match. The story ends by saying that kids are now not scared of him but he is scared of them. Its a funny book for kids below 7yrs. It boost their confidence  and self-esteem by saying that they should not be scared of people who bully others.

Ashmit is quite afraid of the sound of thunder and rain. He cry his lungs out when its raining. ‘Rain Rain’ is a book where it says how the rain is important for the Peacock who wants to dance, for the farmer who wants to plant the seeds, for the fish who needs more water in the pond and to Raju who wants to sail his boat. ‘The Monsoon Concert’ is full of different sounds we hear when it rains. A frog is quite bored because it has not rained for long so he thinks to  sing and send the message to the sky that he wants rain. When he starts singing “Kronker kronker kronk koru” , the owl, the cricket, the fire fly and the gecko joins him. So they all sing in their different voices and are heard by rain who then joins them with “Tupur tapur tup tuppoo” The book indeed is a musical concert. Ashmit enjoyed them and says that now when it rains he will sail his boat in the puddle and sing his rhymes.

The Sister Sister series has four books ‘Where does the sun go at night’, ‘Where does the thunder come from’, ‘Why don’t things fall up?’ and ‘Why is the sky blue’. These books attempt to demystify important scientific concepts through the medium of story telling. I bought ‘Where does the thunder come from’. Munna Raja asks this question to his sister, who in reply asks him to guess why this happen. He thinks and gives different reason like, some monster is angry, motorbikers who live in cloud are riding their bikes etc. Then didi gives him the scientific reason and he feels glad. The book make young kids connect with the reality and myth. Now Ashmit also knows there are no monsters in cloud and that he should not be scared by the sound of the thunder.

This is a very short review of the seven books out of sixteen that I have bought but honestly speaking, all the books by Pratham are worth buying for your young readers. The age recommended on the book is for rural children, so the books for age 7-10 could be read to kids of 4-6 age. Books are definitely good but it also allows me to give my contribution to help the rural kids by getting more books to read. Hats off to them for already spreading the joy of reading to 7 million children.

A few books more that I bought at the fair…



  1. Hey Hey Jo!

    Thank you so much for your wonderful reviews. Hahahah, Sringeri Srinivas and his antics crack me up too. Waiting to hear about the monsoon concert that takes place in Delhi the next time it rains 🙂

    And thank you for joining us in our mission of spreading the joy of reading!

    Psst: I hope Aru and Ashmit are better now

    • It’s an honour to have a comment from you on my blog, Thanks! I shall try my best to spread the joy of reading. The kids are now fine, thanks!

  2. Thanks for leaving the link Jo.

    As you said, we do have quite a few of these, and love them! Glad the review on ST led you to them!

    How are the kids now?

    • I owe for this to Saffron Tree! thanks!

  3. Thanks for sharing these reviews with us.
    Living in UK you never hear anything other than Roald Dahl,Enid Blyton etc , I will surely try books by Pratham

    • You can buy books in kannada…to develop the reading 🙂

    • @megha: pratham has a UK chapter too – we used to volunteer for them when we lived there. i’d say check out with them if they can get some books for you.
      and here’s what i did to teach hindi – got the same book in english and hindi and got the kid to read both 🙂

    • For choxbox

      Thanks for the info.

      Will surely try these as am having difficulty teaching /say getting interested my kids into Indian languages especially Hindi/Kannada (my mother tongue) when they are so keen to learn european languages and even chinese

      Jo thanks for info on books in Kannada

  4. reading children’s stories in a land so rich in colour and imagery is obviously a delight! I love the beautiful illustrations – naturally Zippy the Zebra and the Giraffe are animals familiar to me – we’ve been on a hiking trail amongst these beautiful beasts. But you can tell Ashmit they look better and brighter in India 🙂

  5. thanx for the wonderful information…..I am sure Praneel will love them too….I am definitely going to order some.

  6. Hey thanx….
    i am sure suraj’s xmas lidays will be fun with these books for company

  7. Thanx for sharing information about these books. I really have to struggle to find good and educative fiction for my 3 year old daughter. We are aready done with most of the Hindi and English classics………..these books seem to bring a fresh breath of air.

  8. @Shaily, Smita, Reecha- Pleasure is all mine! Hope your kids have fun with Pratham Books

  9. hi!!
    visited their website. seems they really have good collection. it would be fun to introduce maria with these indian characters. it is really different from books you get here. i need to find out someone who can buy these books in mumbai and send them here to me. thanks…..

    • Megha has mention the same thing…check out Choxbox’s reply to it

  10. jo – this is awesome stuff. very useful for us. I will get in touch with pratham in UK and get the books for ishaan as well ! hope you are having a great time on holidays

  11. […] Read more reviews on this series here and here […]

  12. It’s pleasing to know that there are thinkers in my country keeping the great culture alive. Even I’m a published Hindi poet. To catch a glimpse of my work, visit-

    Keep Walking…

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